“Do Ammuina!”: History of the false Bourbon regulation

by Chiara Sarracino

«At the order Facite Ammuina: all chilli that are in the bow go to the stern
and chilli that are aft go to bow:
chilli that are to starboard vann 'to the left
and chilli that are to the left go to starboard:
all chilli that are dropping vann 'ncoppa
and chilli that are ncoppa vann 'bascio
all passed by the same pertuso:
who does not hold anything to ffà, s' aremeni to 'cca and' ll à ".

NB: to be used on the occasion of visits aboard the High Authorities of the Kingdom. "

Even today, among some junk or tourist shops, gods appear pictures with a fake decree of the Bourbon navy. For years it has been passed off as "finding"Of an ancient Bourbon regulation of 1841, even give more gullible taken as the real thing.

Make Amine false decree
The famous decree "Facite Ammuina!"

More or less this article 27 goes like this: "on the occasion of the authorities of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, when you order "facite ammuina!", whoever is forward goes backward, whoever is backward goes forward, whoever is on the right goes to the left and whoever is on the left goes to the other side. Who is below goes above and who is above goes below, all passing through the same entrance. Who has nothing to do, go here and there". It is clearly one thing stupid and utterly exaggerated, but yet there is someone who passes it off as real or, even worse, it is associated with the classic stereotype of "Neapolitan folklore", noisy and provincial.

The list of falsehood behind this regulation is huge. Let's start with the signatories of the document: Brocchitto" And "Bigiarelli" they do not exist and they are not even southern surnames or found in some chronicle of the time. Secondly, the legal texts of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies were all in Italianor. Net of the licenses of some kings, such as Ferdinand IV who loved to speak in Neapolitan, the language spoken in Naples was Italian. And in short, a little historical research is enough to see that there are no legal texts in Neapolitan, not even on the tombstones around the streets. Thirdly, the historian Giuseppe Fioravanti explains, the Marina delle Due Sicilie was called "Army of the Sea".

But then who invented the "Do Amine“?

It remains to ask who wrote and published this fake regulation. The answer is: nobody knows. It began to appear at the end of the 19th century, under a broader anti-Bourbon media strategy: they were in fact disseminated in the European courts too photos of Queen Maria Sofia naked and, in general, in common speech began a appear the adjective "Bourbon”As a symbol of inefficiency and corruption.

There is an episode reported by Gigi Di Fiore: a guy Federico Cafiero, a Neapolitan officer who ended up on Italian ships after the Unification, was surprised at sleep while on duty and, from there, he was incarcerated.
On his return he instructed the crew to "do amine“, Using the Neapolitan language. This story, however, must be taken with a grain of salt, since it is not there no demonstration and no documented link with our regulations.

Most likely to write this disparaging document was someone with a great hatred towards the Bourbons, well recommended by Neapolitan sources (or probably of southern origins!).
On the other hand, history teaches us that paper sings: in addition to the many incorrect gravestones, also many texts were made with the precise intention to pass on partisan information to posterity. This false regulation was certainly prompted by this will, given that it is still talked about today.

Garibaldi Due Sicilie Marina annexation
The decree with which Garibaldi declared the navy of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies annexed

An excellent naval tradition

Net of the offenses, the Neapolitan naval tradition was highly esteemed by the Piedmontese and from the other Italian kingdoms. In unsuspecting times, when Charles of Bourbon reorganized the Neapolitan navy on the advice of Bernardo Tanucci, the Kingdom of Naples had very close contacts with the Kingdom of Sardinia, hosting Piedmontese officers who studied the first Italian school of the navy. The same legal and cultural exchanges took place a few decades later, with the promotion of first maritime regulation in Europe, written by De Jorio from Procida.

Let's meet again about 80 years later: when Garibaldi, as dictator of Naples, declared the Neapolitan fleet annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, he maintained the uniforms and the Bourbon degree system. Indeed, once the annexation and the Unification are concluded - explains the historian and politician Arturo De Cillis - the admiral Carlo Persano, a loyalist of the House of Savoy, promoted the study and adoption of Bourbon regulations also in the new Regia Marina, in addition toadoption of the Bourbon uniforms, clearly redesigned with degrees and Savoy coats of arms: they were in fact considered more streamlined and comfortable tailoring products.

In short: when we still hear someone who, lightly, says "do ammuina!”To indicate ironically some chaotic situation, let's tell him that, unknowingly, he still carries on today a smear campaign against a southern excellence started more than 150 years ago.

-Chiara Sarracino

Arturo De Cillis, When the Bourbons ordered: "Facite ammuina!", GDS edizioni, Naples, 2000

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